Prep Soccer: East gets by Ledford in rivalry clash
Rivalry games are supposed to be exciting. East Davidson and Ledford did not disappoint Wednesday evening in a nonconference clash of former conference foes.
Combining to score seven goals in a match filled with physical play, yellow cards and the occasional dispute, the Golden Eagles overcame a two-goal, first half deficit to ease by the Panthers 4-3 at Brown Middle School. Jake Fowler paced East with two goals while Edgar Salinas added a pair for LHS.
“They never stopped, even when we were two down,” said EDHS head coach Paul McIntire. “They kept going, figured it out and they improved as they went along.”
East may have come out on top in the end, but the first 30 minutes belonged to the the Cats from Wallburg.
Salinas notched his first tally a few minutes into the game. With 13 minutes remaining in the first half he scored again. This time on a rebound attempt after two tough saves by EDHS goalie Fabian Gutierrez.
Vinciente Luna played a long ball up ahead to Salinas. The junior forward muscled his way by a defender and fired a shot that Gutierrez batted away. It went to Jonathan Vasquez who took his turn ripping a shot on frame. Gutierrez dove and somehow managed to keep that rebound out of the net. Only this time the ball was not cleared far enough away. Salinas went in behind the keeper and poked the ball in to put the Panthers ahead 2-0.
With halftime nearing, the Eagles desperately needed something positive before the break. They got two positives that leveled the score with 40 minutes of action left.
Following a foul in the box that the Ledford coaching staff disputed, Fowler put away the penalty kick with 4:30 left in the half.
With the clock winding down it appeared Ledford would keep the 2-1 lead at intermission. That is until the Golden Eagles got a corner kick in the final minute. Denton Sikes sent a high cross to the back post. Fowler headed the ball back across the frame and beat goalie Malik Britton upstairs to tie the score.
In the 41st minute, all the hard work East had put in to draw even was erased in front of their own goal. A collision at the near post allowed Vasquez to poke the ball through the crowd for a tally.
East went back to work again to get the equalizer. It only took them a minute to get it. Luna committed a soccer mistake in trying to clear the ball to the inside. He mishit the clearance and the ball spun over to Austin McIntire. The freshman dialed in a long attempt and hooked the ball into the net to tie it up once more.
“That is the only thing that kept air in our sails,” said coach McIntire. “That goal was huge to keep our boys mindset to where it still can be done. They rallied and just kept going.”
With a little more than 20 minutes left, East took their first and only lead on a great individual play by Denton Sikes.
The striker poked the ball away from a defender and the race was on. Britton came off his line to try and cut the attack off, but Sikes side-stepped to the left and put away the winning goal.
“It was two different styles of soccer and they came out on top tonight,” said Ledford coach John Blake. “We played a little sloppy and they played about as good as they can play and you saw the result. We had lots of chances to score goals and did not finish. That was really the difference.”
East moves to 2-1 and Ledford drops to 3-1.